Conflict grows between U.S., allies over vaccine

President Joe Biden's administration is stockpiling COVID-19 vaccine, frustrating allies who say those doses should be saving lives overseas.


World News

March 12, 2021 - 2:58 PM

Empty vials that contained a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against the COVID-19 coronavirus lie on a table as South Africa proceeds with its inoculation campaign at the Klerksdorp Hospital on February 18, 2021. (Phill Magakoe/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s administration is stockpiling tens of millions of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine whose approval in the U.S. remains uncertain, frustrating U.S. allies who say those doses should be used now to save lives overseas.

The standoff is part of a growing global debate over who should have access to hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine that pharmaceutical companies are churning out in the U.S. Besides generating ill will, Biden’s insistence on an excess supply for America is potentially creating new openings for geopolitical rivals Russia and China.

A two-dose vaccine from AstraZeneca has received emergency approval  from the European Union and World Health Organization but not from the U.S. Now America’s partners are prodding Biden to release his supply, noting that the administration has lined up enough doses of three already-approved vaccines  to cover every American adult by the end of May  and the entire U.S. population by the end of July.

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